‘Soviet Milk’ (2015)

A novel by Nora Ikstena ‘Soviet Milk’ covers the period from the end of the Second World War, and tells the story through three generations of women, but the message is centered on the 1970s and 1980s. The whole novel is interweaven with abandonment of a husband and father, dreams and opinions, work and beliefs, friends and loved ones. Throughout the story of three generations of women and their painful fate, there is also strong presence of forgiveness. Since her childhood it has been the duty of the daughter to keep her mother alive, a mother who has deliberately deprived her daughter from her breast milk to prevent her from inheriting the suffering, pain and despair of the mother.

‘The official history is written by the winners; the true history however will forever remain in the memory of the Latvian families, to have experienced and endured the historic events. Nora Ikstena puts it bluntly and unmitigatedly, touching the strings deep at heart.’ (Valērijs Bolokoņs, patron of the book series ‘We. Latvia. XX Century.’).

The book was published in the series ‘We. Latvia. XX Century.’ within the framework of the SCCF’s target programme ‘National Identity’.